How to choose a SharePoint consultant

Portrait of Sandra Campbell
By Sandra Campbell

04 December 2018

Whether you're migrating from another platform or just starting out, follow our steps to choose the best SharePoint consultant for your needs.

So, your heart is set on SharePoint. We don’t blame you, there are a host of benefits to using Microsoft’s premier intranet solution. But, it can be hard to know where to begin with a new software and transitioning from another platform can be difficult and time-consuming.

That’s where a SharePoint consultant comes in. They can help you navigate the rocky terrain that lies ahead with industry expertise and guidance on how to adopt SharePoint, as well as make the most of it in your business.

What’s the difference between a SharePoint consultant and developer?

We have a fantastic team of SharePoint developers here at Storm, but how do they differ from SharePoint consultants? Simply, developers are hands-on and responsible for implementing the nuts and bolts of your site, while consultants are strategic planners.

It’s their role to assess your needs and scope out the best SharePoint solution, before overseeing the implementation of it. If you are migrating from another platform, it is their responsibility to make it as smooth as possible and minimise disruption. They can also offer your business ongoing support, such as training in how to use any new features, as well as action any changes you would like.

SharePoint consultants usually work with an in-house development team, acting as the go-between for clients. This helps to build a strong relationship between both parties, while keeping objectivity and ensuring progress is continuously made. To choose the best SharePoint consultant for your business, ask yourself these questions.

Do they know your company?

To help your business, your SharePoint consultant needs to understand it. A sign of a good consultant is one that asks a lot of questions. Looking at your business with fresh eyes, they’ll be able to confidently spot areas of opportunity and suggest the best solution for improving operational efficiency and achieving your objectives.

Do they know your industry?

Likewise, the best consultant for your needs will already have a good grasp of the industry you’re in. They may already have testimonials from others in your space or showcase their portfolio online; if not, don’t be afraid to ask what experience they have in your sector and what they can bring to the table.

Are they open-minded?

Another sign of a good consultant is one who is open to suggestions and doesn’t just spearhead their own ideas into the process. Of course, they should bring expertise and innovation to the mix, but they should make a point of listening to your requirements and what you want to gain from SharePoint. They should base their recommendations on this and not their preconceptions of your business.

Are they forward-thinking?

The best SharePoint consultants will consider the entire lifespan of your project, rather than seeing your time together as limited. The support you receive shouldn’t end once the site is live, your consultant should continue to assist you well into the future. Choose a SharePoint consultant that plans ahead and wants to build a lasting relationship with you.

Can they deliver?

Arguably the most important question to ask before choosing your consultant is can they deliver what you need? Whether it’s budget or time constraints, you should pick a consultant that can adhere to these and doesn’t overpromise what they can deliver. While it’s impossible to predict the future, an experienced SharePoint consultant will be upfront with you and manage your expectations.

SharePoint is a versatile platform that can be adapted to suit your business, but if you’re not sure where to begin, get in touch. We get to know your business and what you need from us, before making any recommendations and will support you from inception to implementation and beyond. We look forward to hearing from you!